Mistress of everything

Queen Victoria in Indigenous worlds

Edited by Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent

Mistress of everything


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3688-6
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £19.99
  • Published Date: October 2018
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Humanities / Social & cultural history, British Empire, Modern History, Biography: royalty, Victorian period (1837–1901), POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, History, Social & cultural history, Colonialism & imperialism
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


Mistress of everything examines how indigenous people across Britain's settler colonies engaged with Queen Victoria in their lives and predicaments, incorporated her into their political repertoires, and implicated her as they sought redress for the effects of imperial expansion during her long reign. It draws together empirically rich studies from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Southern Africa, to provide scope for comparative and transnational analysis.

The book includes chapters on a Maori visit to Queen Victoria in 1863, meetings between African leaders and the Queen's son Prince Alfred in 1860, gift-giving in the Queen's name on colonial frontiers in Canada and Australia, and Maori women's references to Queen Victoria in support of their own chiefly status and rights. The collection offers an innovative approach to interpreting and including indigenous perspectives within broader histories of British imperialism and settler colonialism.


'Non-European peoples had reason and opportunity to learn the structure and disposition of the authorities that colonised them. Under British rule, they had time to get to 'know' Queen Victoria, for she reigned from 1837 to 1901. 'Queen Victoria' was not only an individual but a 'synonym for the Crown, for the British government and for the Empire' (p.2). In Mistress ofEverything ten historians of British settler-colonial southern Africa, Australia, Canada and New Zealand richly illustrate how Victoria was 'known' to the colonised.'
Tim Rowse, Western Sydney University, Oceania

'In its innovations and the depth of each of its contributions, this volume will act asa beginning. The editors have brought together an exciting collection of papers,which separately and together will stimulate many more conversations acrossnational and racial borders. They have taken us outside the ghetto of 'settlercolonialism' to explore colonised peoples' responses to their colonisation farmore widely and realistically than is often possible. We are in a far strongerposition to see the ways empires and sovereigns make their claims, how genderand power intersect and how colonised peoples' challenges to those claims havetaken shape in a range of conditions and different media, all of which havechanged over time.'
Heather Goodall, University of Technology Sydney, AboriginalHistory, Vol. 41, 2017

'The editors have compiled a stimulating collection of studies that entice the reader with absorbing case studies from across the British Empire.'
Aidan Jones, King's College London, Royal Studies Journal


Introduction: Indigenous histories, settler colonies and Queen Victoria - Maria Nugent and Sarah Carter
Part I - Monarch, metaphor, memory
1. 'We have seen the son of Heaven/We have seen the Son of Our Queen': African encounters with Prince Alfred on his royal tour, 1860 - Hilary Sapire
2. 'We rejoice to honour the Queen, for she is a good woman, who cares for the Maori race': Loyalty and protest in Maori politics in nineteenth-century New Zealand - Michael Belgrave
3. 'The faithful children of the Great Mother are starving': Queen Victoria in contact zone dialogues in western Canada - Sarah Carter
4. The politics of memory and the memory of politics: Australian Aboriginal interpretations of Queen Victoria, 1881-2011 - Maria Nugent
Part II - Royal relations
5. 'My vast Empire & all its many peoples': Queen Victoria's imperial family - Barbara Caine
6. Maori encounters with 'Wikitoria' in 1863 and Albert VictorPomare, her Maori godchild - Chanel Clarke
7. Southern African royalty and delegates visit Queen Victoria, 1882-95 - Neil Parsons
Part III - Sovereign subjects?
8. Sovereignty performances, sovereignty testings: The Queen's currency and imperial pedagogies on Australia's south-eastern settler frontiers - Penelope Edmonds
9. Bracelets, blankets and badges of distinction: Aboriginal subjects and Queen Victoria's gifts in Canada and Australia - Amanda Nettelbeck
10. Chiefly women: Queen Victoria, Meri Mangakahia, and the Maori parliament - Miranda Johnson
Select bibliography


Sarah Carter is Professor and H. M. Tory Chair in the Department of History and Classics and the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta

Maria Nugent is Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the School of History at the Australian National University

Mistress of everything

Edited by Sarah Carter, Maria Nugent

Paperback £19.99 / $29.95

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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